Re: [RDA-L] NISO offers itself as the standards body for future format

Posting to RDA-L

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 8:45 AM, Bernhard Eversberg wrote:

Help with the creation of a new format would be great. What the library world needs here is, of course, an indefinite term commitment. And what we also need is a free and open standard, or else we can forget everything about opening up to other communities and freeing our data in the web for everybody to use. Libraries are there to make recorded knowledge universally available and useful. To assist this, today, they have to make their data universally available and useful, and with that huge body of data, the conventions that constitute its foundation. What we have instead is one not universally open entity in control of the data and another one in possession of the rules. Now, the format is to go into custody of a third?

Good point. I had simply assumed that what they make would be free. It appears as if they do make them available for free, e.g. the Digital Talking Book Standard at They also say explicitly that they are available at no cost:

“All NISO standards are protected by copyright. NISO standards can be downloaded and reproduced for noncommercial purposes only. NISO standards cannot be translated, modified, redistributed, sold or repackaged in any form without the prior permission of NISO.”

Still, this needs to be made very clear. For instance, I can imagine libraries–and individual libraries–wanting to add their own namespaces to whatever NISO would make, so the word “modified” would have to be considered carefully. Plus, the translation makes me hesitant, although I understand.